...And Is Rejected In California

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On the other side of the country, a deadlock by Oceanside, Calif. City Council means the city will lose $150,000 in FAA funding to build a perimeter fence. "The party's over on that one," Alan Cruise, president of the Oceanside Airport Association told the North County Times. Accepting the FAA money would require a renewed commitment to keep the airport -- which has just erected new hangars -- open for years to come. The grant was lost because council tied 2-2 in the vote on whether to accept funds. Mayor Jim Wood, who would have broken the tie, was unable to attend the Wednesday meeting. Deadline for acceptance was Sunday and no further meetings were planned. Cruise said he was surprised council let the money slip away since airport security has been a concern expressed by some residents. As is usual with such things, however, politics was in the left seat of the debate with some members of council looking at the airport as a liability for the growth of the community. Taking the money would have required the city to keep the airport open for another 20 years, one of the stipulations the FAA makes when it doles out funds. The city is already committed to keeping the airport for the next 18 years thanks to the grant it accepted in 2003 to buy land for expansion of the facility. The airport is seen as an impediment, by some, to the rumored construction of a big-box store complex and condo development near the airport although no formal proposals have been made. Council also deadlocked on acceptance of $195,000 for some already-completed hangars at the airport, but the deadline for that grant is after the next meeting and the mayor is expected to be there to cast a deciding vote, if necessary.